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This excerpt from "The American Forests," was part of John Muir's 1897 campaign to save the American wilderness. He would later be called the godfather of the American environmental movement.
The forests of America, however slightedby man, must have been a great delight toGod; for they were the best he ever planted.The whole continent was a garden, and from05the beginning it seemed to be favored aboveall the other wild parks and gardens of theglobe. […]So they appeared a few centuries agowhen they were rejoicing in wildness. The10Indians with stone axes could do them nomore harm than could gnawing beavers andbrowsing moose. Even the fires of the Indiansand the fierce shattering lightning seemed towork together only for good in clearing spots15here and there for smooth garden prairies,and openings for sunflowers seeking thelight. But when the steel axe of the white manrang out in the startled air their doom wassealed. Every tree heard the bodeful sound,20and pillars of smoke gave the sign in the sky.I suppose we need not go mourning thebuffaloes. In the nature of things they had togive place to better cattle, though the changemight have been made without barbarous25wickedness. Likewise many of nature's fivehundred kinds of wild trees had to make wayfor orchards and cornfields. In the settlementand civilization of the country, bread morethan timber or beauty was wanted; and in30the blindness of hunger, the early settlers,claiming Heaven as their guide, regardedGod's trees as only a larger kind of perniciousweeds, extremely hard to get rid of.Accordingly, with no eye to the future, these35pious destroyers waged interminable forestwars; chips flew thick and fast; trees in theirbeauty fell crashing by millions, smashedto confusion, and the smoke of their burninghas been rising to heaven more than two40hundred years. After the Atlantic coast fromMaine to Georgia had been mostly clearedand scorched into melancholy ruins, theoverflowing multitude of bread and moneyseekers poured over the Alleghenies into45the fertile middle West, spreading ruthlessdevastation ever wider and farther over therich valley of the Mississippi and the vastshadowy pine region about the Great Lakes.Thence still westward the invading horde of50destroyers called settlers made its fiery wayover the broad Rocky Mountains, felling andburning more fiercely than ever, until at lastit has reached the wild side of the continent,and entered the last of the great aboriginal55forests on the shores of the Pacific.Surely, then, it should not be wonderedat that lovers of their country, bewailing itsbaldness, are now crying aloud, "Save whatis left of the forests!" Clearing has surely now60gone far enough; soon timber will be scarce,and not a grove will be left to rest in or prayin. The remnant protected will yield plentyof timber, a perennial harvest for every rightuse, without further diminution of its area,65and will continue to cover the springs of therivers that rise in the mountains and giveirrigating waters to the dry valleys at theirfeet, prevent wasting floods and be a blessingto everybody forever.70Every other civilized nation in the worldhas been compelled to care for its forests,and so must we if waste and destructionare not to go on to the bitter end, leavingAmerica as barren as Palestine or Spain. In its75calmer moments in the midst of bewilderinghunger and war and restless over-industry,Prussia has learned that the forest plays animportant part in human progress, and thatthe advance in civilization only makes it80more indispensable. […]So far our government has done nothingeffective with its forests, though the bestin the world, but is like a rich and foolishspendthrift who has inherited a magnificent85estate in perfect order, and then has left hisrich fields and meadows, forests and parks,to be sold and plundered and wasted at will,depending on their inexhaustible abundance.Now it is plain that the forests are not90inexhaustible, and that quick measures mustbe taken if ruin is to be avoided.
1. The overall point of the passage is to
2. Muir's tone in the passage is best described as
3. As used in line 19, the word "sealed" most closely means
4. Based on the information in the passage, it is reasonable to infer that in the year 1897, which region of the United States had the greatest abundance of unharvested forests?
5. Which option gives the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
6. Muir uses lines 59-62 ("Clearing . . . pray in") to make appeals that focus on the themes of
7. Muir describes the overall approach to forest management by the U.S. Government at the time this passage was written as
8. Which option gives the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
9. Muir suggests that the United States should emulate the philosophy of which country?
10. As used in line 91, the word "ruin" most closely means
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